Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

SpaceX Re-Launches 'Block 5' Rocket for 1st Time, Nails Landing Again

SpaceX Re-Launches 'Block 5' Rocket for 1st Time, Nails Landing Again

7, 2018 the NewSpace company once more carried out a flight of its highly-successful Falcon 9 rocket.

The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off early Tuesday morning from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Merah Putih translates into "red and white" and is a reference to the colors on Indonesia's national flag.

Tonight's focus on the refurbished, soot-stained booster stole the spotlight from Merah Putih, an SSL-built satellite that's created to provide a range of telecommunication services from geostationary orbit, including mobile broadband access across Indonesia and Southeast Asia. This was SpaceX's 15th launch so far this year and its 60th of a Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX has successfully landed the booster on the Of Course I Still Love You barge.

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The landing marked the 28th successful recovery of a stage one booster by SpaceX.

That launch back in May was the first time the company used Block 5 for an actual mission.

SpaceX hopes to continue to reduce the cost of space travel by reusing key parts of the rocket's design. SpaceX plans to re-launch a Block 5 rocket on Tuesday just three months after its original flight.

The turnaround between the Bangabandhu 1 and Merah Putih missions did not set a record for the shortest time between flights of the same Falcon 9 first stage. The satellite is owned by PT Telcom, the largest provider of telecommunications services in Indonesia.

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The new satellite will replace the aging Telkom 1 satellite, which has been in operation since 1999.

Merah Putih's on-board propulsion system will be used to circularize the orbit at the intended 22,300-mile altitude and to maneuver it to its designated operational location at 108 degrees east longitude. The satellite will provide Internet, telephone and cellular backhaul services, according to SSL.

SpaceX's latest Falcon 9 booster should return to Port Canaveral within three or four days, and will then undergo inspections to determine its fitness for a third launch. Another predawn Falcon 9 flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on July 25 delivered 10 Iridium voice and data relay payloads to orbit.

SpaceX's next mission is set for launch no earlier than August 23 with the Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications satellite to provide broadcast, enterprise and government communications services over parts of India, China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean region.

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A 65-minute launch window opens up at 3:33 a.m. on Saturday.

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